A day after team Garmin/Chipotle announced their Tour de France Roster (including Victoria's Ryder Hesjedal), High Road Columbian today announced their roster -- which doesn't include Toronto's Michael Barry.
As a fan of cycling, Barry's exclusion from High Road's tour squad hurts alot. Barry has been a long time advocate for dope-free cycling. When I lived in Toronto, riding with the local chain gang (the infamous "Donut Ride"), I can remember hearing stories about Barry's decision to leave Europe and race for Saturn to avoid the inevitability of having to dope.
When Barry made it back to the European peloton (with U.S. Postal) we all cheered. When we got to see him attack out of the peloton at the 2003 World Championships in Hamilton (to finish 7th) we went crazy. Here is a talented rider who has followed the hard road throughout his career. His dream, like most riders, is to ride in the Tour de France. At 32, his career is winding down, so every year he is excluded has greater significance. On top of that he's had a tough couple of years. He had a tough 2006 and 2007, plagued by injury and illness, so being named to this years Tour team would have meant a lot to his fans and I'm sure to him.
Barry does get a small consolation, having been named to Canada's Olympic team, but that has to be bitter-sweet. Let's hope he can hang on for another year or two and finally make it.